Ever since schools reopened after the covid-19 pandemic, the district administration of Siddipet in Telangana has been making efforts to improve hygiene and sanitation and put in place arrangements for solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) in as many as 880 schools and 918 anganwadi centres (AWCs) of the district.
In this regard, the District Administration headed by the Collector conducted special drives towards the renovation of classrooms and WASH facilities in all AWCs and schools. The interventions made with the support of the Gram Panchayats were a part of the district Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) campaign and the state government’s Palle Pragathi programme.
The interventions were based on the premise that every child has the right to a quality education, which includes access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services while at school. Children spend a significant portion of their day at school where WASH services can impact student learning, health, and dignity, particularly for girls.
In this regard, Additional Collector (Local Bodies), Shri Muzammil Khan visited schools and AWCs and organized activities for the beatification of those institutions. This included attractive paintings on walls and promotion of kitchen gardens, where the children were involved in producing organic vegetables with the help of organic manure provided by the gram panchayats. In addition, under the direction of the District Collector, the District Panchayat Officer, Smt. Devaki Devi conducted special sanitation drives in all the schools and AWCs of the villages, following the heavy monsoon rains.
Also, with the collaboration of members of the Panchayats, Self Help Groups, School Management Committees as well as teachers and Panchayat Secretaries, the schools conducted orientations programmes on seasonal diseases and personal hygiene practices including hand washing. Further, sanitation workers regularly visited the schools and AWCs and carried out mosquito preventive activities that included fogging, and spraying of bleaching powder and placing of oil balls in stagnant water within the school premises.
Considerable focus is also being given to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and awareness on personal hygiene, use of menstrual cups, safe sanitation practices and safe disposal of menstrual waste among adolescent girls in the high schools and hostels.
To promote awareness on SLWM, students were taken on field visits to observe composting of household waste and the manner in which it is converted into organic manure. In many villages, Kalajatha (traditional art form or folk theatre) teams have been formed and trained to perform songs and plays used during Swachhata Hi Seva, depicting messages on swachhata.